Heating and Safety Concerns of the Radio-Frequency Field in MRI

Manuel Murbach, Earl Zastrow, Esra Neufeld, Eugenia Cabot, Wolfgang Kainz, and Niels Kuster, Current Radiology Reports, Volume 3, Number 45, December 2015, online October 28, 2015

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a widely used and powerful imaging technique for non-invasive clinical diagnosis. The absorbed radiofrequency (RF) energy must be carefully managed, as MRI presents one of the highest RF exposures to humans. Temperature increases in the patient caused by high-level RF exposure is a major safety concern in MRI, potentially causing local thermal tissue damage or systemic overheating. This review article summarizes recent findings in MR safety research, including the clear distinction between exposures of patients with and without implants; evaluates the advantages and limitations of numerical simulations for RF safety assessment in MRI; and discusses the need for additional research at high RF exposure levels and in novel MRI systems.

The scientific and technical impact of the study can be summarized as:

  • Review on current heating and safety concerns in MRI
  • Covering both, exposure of normal patients and patients with medical implants featuring elongated wires
  • Overview of concepts for RF safety supervision 
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